Sunday, October 9, 2011

SRI-grown rice resists typhoon

MANILA, Philippines — Rice plants grown under the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) have withstood the fury of typhoon Pedring in several Luzon provinces.
SRI Pilipinas coordinator Roberto Verzola said farmers have reported that their palay were not ruined by the strong winds and heavy rains brought about by Pedring and other typhoons.
“SRI-grown plants suffer from less typhoon damage because they have sturdier stalks and deeper roots,” Verzola explained, adding that “the deeper roots also make the plants more drought-resistant.”
SRI was developed in Madagascar and the growing method was promoted in Asia as well.
Apart from having strong roots and sturdier stalks, SRI rice plants have higher yields and require less inputs.
Retired Manila police officer Renato Carig, who tried SRI in 1.5 hectares of his five-hectare farm in Barangay Catanding, Balanga, Bataan, said “strong winds from typhoon Pedring hit my rice field, fraying the leaf ends and making the plants look pale. But my rice plants recovered quickly. The SRI-grown rice plants which I treated only with compost look fine. My neighbors' plants are different because they don't have too many stalks. They say whatever I did was great because my plants have sturdy stalks and lots of body.“
Barangay chairman Ernesto Encarnado of Barangay Caingin, Meycauayan, Bulacan also made a similar report: “Our SRI-grown rice is doing fine. The plants are sturdy and were not damaged by the typhoon. Some neighboring ricefields were flattened, but ours were not affected by the typhoon.”
Froilan Capule of Malolos made a similar finding, “my SRI trial was pummelled by the typhoon. But my plants had sturdier stalks than my neighbors', and they resist better.”
Maximo de Guzman of Barangay San Antonio, Cuyapo, Nueva Ecija said, “my SRI trial plants were not flattened while the non-SRI plants of my neighbors were flattened easily.”
Benito Manzano of Milaor, Camarines Sur added, “my SRI plants were sturdy and gave good harvests. I'm doing land preparations now.”
“SRI is definitely better than the old methods. We will start harvesting next week,” Councilor Francis Gacosta of Pilar, Sorsogon said.
SRI farmers in Palawan and Negros Occidental also gave good reports about the durability of their palay stands. From Felix Amamio of San Vicente, Palawan, “It's great. That's because SRI rice is sturdy.”

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